Major Trauma - more lives saved

Info24 hours a day, seven days a week the Major Trauma Centre at Southmead Hospital welcomes some of the most seriously-injured patients through its doors.

The consultant-led team gives adults with multiple life-threatening or life-changing injuries the best possible chance of survival, with a range of experts on hand to ensure they receive the right care as soon as possible.

It is the collaboration of these specialists that has led to the North Bristol NHS Trust service reporting the best survival rates of any Major Trauma Centre in England for the last nine quarters.

And now the care that major trauma patients receive at Southmead Hospital has been highlighted as an area of Outstanding Practice in a report of North Bristol NHS Trust services published by the Care Quality Commission today.

  • Approximately 900 patients are brought to the Major Trauma Centre every year
  • A consortium made up of about 30 consultants from around the Trauma Network work in the Southmead Hospital Emergency Department
  • 24/7 to lead the management of these patients from the moment they arrive

The Major Trauma Centre for the Severn region – which covers Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and parts of Wiltshire - launched in April 2012 and along with the other centres that launched across the country four years ago, has led to an increase in patients surviving serious injuries.

Results published by the National Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN) show that 2.4 additional patients survive per 100 at North Bristol NHS Trust than are expected to.

As well as demonstrating the best performance for survival rates over the last nine quarters, the Major Trauma Centre is among the top performing in most 

MT team

clinical indicators, including the speed that patients receive a CT scan after arriving at Southmead Hospital.

They work alongside colleagues in neurosurgery, orthopaedics, plastics, radiology – including interventional radiology – general surgery and blood transfusion, to provide patients with the care they need.

“That’s why you will be transferred to us here in Bristol, it is for a good reason, because we provide the best care for this group of patients,” Major Trauma Lead, Consultant Anaesthetist Ben Walton

“We are very proud of our results. It is evidence of a successful whole hospital approach to the care of seriously injured patients.

“But we are not complacent, we realise there is always work to do.”

In addition to the specialist teams the care of major trauma patients is augmented by a small team of staff. This team is made up of nurse, therapists, administrative staff led by a senior manager and clinician.

The nature of trauma care means that patients have multiple injuries and may require appointments with different specialists and therapists during their time in hospital and after they are discharged – whether this is to their home, their local hospital or a rehabilitation service.

Rehabilitation for Major Trauma patients at North Bristol NHS Trust starts from the moment a patient enters the hospital.

All Trauma patients have a key worker who is the key point of contact for them and their families and when patients are discharged they have an electronic package which includes information about all of their appointments in one place so that they can access their records and rehab prescription such as physiotherapy, neuro and orthopaedic information.

Funding from the Healthcare Foundation has also gone towards a Quality Trauma Discharge Package, which includes a key co-ordinator meeting with patients within the first 24 hours and a quality trauma discharge session to ensure they understand everything about their care when they leave.

There is also a patient bereavement service, with the family of every patient who dies being followed up with a phone call to give them a point of contact for any questions they may have and to suggest other services that might be helpful.

The service is not just about the care of patients, the team also co-ordinates training for staff within the Trust and the wider Severn region Major Trauma Network and arranges conferences to share ideas nationally. There is also accident prevention work with the emergency services in Avon, Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire and road safety charity BRAKE, in an attempt to reduce the number of patients who suffer the serious injuries the service deals with.